NEW DELHI – The National Council of Churches in India greeted the country on its 63rd Independence Day, calling for unity and greater efforts in condemning "perpetuation of depravity and all manifestations of violence."
The ecumenical body, representing over 13 million Christians from the Orthodox and Protestant traditions, urged the country's citizens to “stand up to all attempts to divide and discriminate people based on caste, religious and ideological orientations, ethnicity, language, literacy, or region.”
The NCCI said in a statement that more contributions must be made to the process of opinion building, especially in the framing of new legislations and expressing opinions on existing laws. more >>
NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – Two evangelists said they survived an attack in Balaghat district, Madhya Pradesh, by playing dead last week when suspected Hindu extremists surrounded them and severely beat them.
The six assailants accused Mahindra Kharoley, 20, and 30-year-old Munshi Prasaad Bahey of “forced conversion.”
The two evangelists were bicycling to their home village of Susua following a prayer meeting at Dunda Sivni, 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Balaghat district, when the attackers on two motorbikes, with their faces covered, attacked them in Bhalwa village at around 10 p.m. on July 20. The assailants did not wait for them to respond to the charges of forced conversion before they began hitting and kicking them, the evangelists said. more >>
NEW DELHI – One of the main suspects in the 2008 anti-Christian violence in Orissa, India, was been sentenced to seven years in prison for murder.
A fast track court on Tuesday sentenced Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Manoj Pradhan to seven years "rigorous imprisonment" for the murder of Parikhita Nayak, a Dalit Christian. Nayak was among more than 100 people, mostly Christians, who were killed following the murder of a Hindu leader.
Since the attacks in August 2008 that left some 50,000 people homeless and hundreds of churches destroyed, only a couple dozen persons have been convicted and far more have been acquitted. The Orissa state government handed out its first conviction nearly a year after the violence. more >>
NEW DELHI – Thousands of Tamil people, including scholars and language experts, paid homage to Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg, the first Protestant missionary to India, for his immense contributions in the development of Tamil language.
Ziegenbalg was among many missionaries whose contributions were recalled during the five-day World Classical Tamil Conference in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Nagapattinam Tahsildar Rengarajan and Zonal Deputy Tahsildar Ramkumar garlanded Ziegenbalg's statue in Tarangambadi, a town in Tamil Nadu. more >>
Two pastors from the Assemblies of God Church denomination were attacked by a group of unknown people on Wednesday in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
Pastor Shiju Kuriakose, 35, and Pastor Jayan, 30, from the Nitya Vachanam Bethel Assemblies of God Church were attacked with iron rods after they had conducted prayer at a believer's house.
According to the Global Council of Indian Christians, the pastors finished the prayer and went to a nearby tea stall when a “group of unknown people came in two motor cycles wielding iron rods." more >>
NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – A pastor in Assam state was murdered and cremated without being identified last month before family members learned of his death when they saw a photo of his body in a newspaper.
The body of Son Englang, 35, was recovered alongside National Highway 37 on May 20, with marks indicating his hands had been tightly bound before he was shot. The pastor from Mallasi village, Karbi Anglong, supported by Gospel for Asia (GFA), had reportedly been kidnapped early in the morning of the previous day as he rode his bicycle to the Bokakhat marketplace to buy paint materials for his nearly completed church building.
The unknown kidnappers, suspected Hindu extremists, reportedly took him to the jungle to kill him. more >>